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Astronaut on the Moon

Food History

The First Meal Eaten on the Moon

In 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were the first humans ever to land on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. A few hours later, Neil Armstrong became the first person ever to walk on the moon, marking the moment with his famous quote “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

Now, if you’re wondering what the astronauts ate to fuel their energy throughout their eleven-day mission, it’s a lot less fancy than you might think. More than 70 food items travelled onboard the space flight and these included spaghetti, salads, meats, puddings, and brownies, amongst other things. Each course was specifically designed to between 2,500 and 3,000 calories per person for a well-balanced diet. In a celebratory meal following their successful moon landing, the astronauts enjoyed bacon squares, peaches, sugar, cookie cubes, pineapple grapefruit drink and coffee in the Lunar Module. They had no other choice than a freeze-dried diet to accompany their trip, but they sure seemed to enjoy it, when Walt Cunningham, one of the astronauts on the Apollo 7 mission, messaged "Happiness is a package of bacon squares on day 10" back to Earth.

Apparently, bacon has a long history in the meal plans of the American Space Program and goes as far back as the early Gemini missions. Nowadays, astronauts in space are able to eat pretty much the same kind of food as humans back on Earth, although reduced in sodium. Unfortunately, cookies and bread are banned from space flights due to the fact that the little particles that break off of them can cause damage as they fly around in zero gravity. Bacon is also no longer included in the International Space Station. The closest thing to bacon the astronauts can get is a freeze-dried sausage patty they rehydrate with water. On the bright side, they occasionally enjoy a traditional meal for a celebration like Christmas dinner, including turkey, candied yams, and fruitcake.

A wide variety of quality ingredients are available from Arkadia supermarkets in Malta and Gozo, including Arkadia FoodExpress Swatar and Arkadia Food Market Valletta.

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